The margin of error has grown increasingly slim for the eight NBA teams seeking to capture a first-round playoff series at home.
The Dallas Mavericks managed to win 13 games in a row, yet after a blowout loss to the New York Knicks the Mavericks fell behind Denver in the Western Conference standings.
The Boston Celtics are trying their hardest to play themselves out of a first-round playoff series at home, and after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, the Celtics fell to fourth in the East.
The theme in this week's edition of the NBA Stock Report is change, although that change only affects the teams in the 3-8 positions.
Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Orlando managed to hold onto their respective spots, while the rest of the list was a picture of constant flux.
Outside of the top three, only the Utah Jazz were able to maintain their position from last week, and most of the teams throughout the list are separated by a margin of one game.
The next few weeks promises to be filled with drama and intensity as the final playoff picture begins to come into focus, and the top eight seeds in each conference become settled.
All positions are based on current NBA standings, which are subject to change, and although the rankings are firm, the future direction of each team is far from settled.
Feel free to comment with your opinions on whether teams will be able to maintain their current positions, or if the possibility exists for movement up or down the list. Please enjoy.
The Boston Celtics are reeling, and after their second loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the space of a month, they find themselves in a precarious situation.
The Celtics finished the week 1-3 with a win against Indiana and losses to Milwaukee, Memphis, and Cleveland, as they continued to free-fall toward the postseason.
Boston sits at the fourth position in the East, but, more importantly, they now trail Cleveland, Atlanta, and Orlando in the category of head-to-head matchups.
It was improbable to think the Celtics could catch the teams ahead of them anyway, but after Sunday's latest blowout loss, the odds look impossible.
The Utah Jazz were able to sustain their fourth seed in the West, but must continue looking over their shoulders at a fast-surging team from Oklahoma City.
The Jazz finished the week at 2-2 with wins against against Chicago and Detroit, and losses to Milwaukee and the Thunder team they are trying to hold at bay.
All four games were on the road, so Utah will be happy to see the safe haven of their own home floor, but will they be able to maintain the slim advantage they currently hold?
The next two weeks will reveal a lot about the Jazz, and how they perform during that time may be an indication of how they will perform once the postseason begins.
It's hard to get a handle on the Atlanta Hawks and their inconsistency makes it impossible to predict how they will fare once the playoffs start.
The Hawks finished the week 2-1 with wins against Washington and Detroit, and a loss on the road to the New York Knicks which is perplexing for this team.
Atlanta had a perfect opportunity to finish the week 3-0 but lost to the Knicks, who have no chance in hell of qualifying for the postseason.
There is no doubt the Hawks are a talented team, and with the recent decline of the Boston Celtics, they are surely the third best team in the East, but I'm not sure how that will translate in the postseason.
At a glance the Hawks appear to be a solid contender, but their nonchalant tendencies leave them susceptible to an upset by one of the lower seeded teams.
If you think the tight playoff race in the Western Conference is overrated ask the Dallas Mavericks who won 13 games in a row only to see themselves slip down the standings after a recent loss.
Dallas finished the week 2-1 with wins against Minnesota and New Jersey and a 32 point home loss to New York, which challenged the notion of the Mavericks as true contenders.
Absorbing a home loss is understandable, but to lose by 32 points to the Knicks is inexcusable, and calls into question the passion and desire of the Mavericks at the wrong time.
At this point in the season every contest should have a playoff-like atmosphere, and the intensity of your team should never be in question.
Dallas will regroup for the postseason, but they may regret the loss to the Knicks especially if the current standings hold and they start the playoffs in the third position instead of second.
The Denver Nuggets quietly have been playing some of the NBA's best basketball, and even a 13 game win streak fro Dallas couldn't prevent the Nuggets from reclaiming the second seed in the West.
Denver ended the week 3-0 with wins over Minnesota, New Orleans, and Memphis, with each win coming on the road, as the Nuggets are starting to hit their stride.
It says a lot that the Nuggets were able to maintain their composure in the face of the Mavericks' brilliant run, and even more since they were able to pass Dallas after the Mavericks' recent slip.
The final weeks will be a struggle between the Mavericks and the Nuggets for the second seed in the West, and based on Denver's superior play on the road, they may have an advantage in the chase.
Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic suffered an unforeseen loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday, but still look more than ready to defend their Eastern Conference championship.
The Magic finished the week 3-1 with wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, and the Washington Wizards, with their lone loss coming against the Bobcats.
Orlando has now won seven out of their last eight games and appear to be steeling their resolve in hopes of making a deep run in the postseason.
The Magic will go as far as Dwight Howard will carry them, and he appears to be peaking at just the right time.
There is little chance the Magic will catch the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top seed in the East, but the composition of Orlando's team makes home-court advantage almost inconsequential.
Orlando will be a tough out regardless of where they play, and their season seems to be racing toward a collision with the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals
The Los Angeles Lakers have some issues for sure, but may be more prepared to deal with them than any other team in the NBA.
The Lakers ended the week 2-0 with wins over Toronto and Phoenix, and have persevered despite questions about their defense and intensity.
It's a good thing these concerns are familiar ones for the Lakers because they were forced to deal with similar issues last season en route to their 15th NBA championship.
Los Angeles is primed for a run at defending their title and even though they have struggled recently, there is little reason to think they will not be ready once the postseason begins.
The Cleveland cavaliers have left little doubt they are the best regular season team in the Eastern Conference, and any team which hopes to catch them will have to do it in the postseason.
The Cavaliers finished the week 3-0 with wins against San Antonio, Philadelphia, and Boston, and have now won six out of their last seven games.
Cleveland has gotten it done on the defensive end, and the team gains confidence with each win, and they now seem to have faith in their own abilities.
Of course it's great to have a player like LeBron James on your team to offer words of encouragement and to bail his teammates out when the specter of trouble is raised.
And Cleveland has found little trouble in the regular season this year and have to be considered the favorites to represent the East in this year's edition of the NBA Finals.